WASHINGTON, February 25, 2018. – Predictably, after a gunman gunned down 17 innocent lives in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School school shootings things got political, and in a hurry. The discussions quickly, and predictably, escalated. The left making outlandish claims, crying, once again, to appeal the second amendment and take away the guns.
The right defending guns and gun rights to no end.
Is this helpful, or does this ridiculous partisanship directly play into why tragedies like this continue to occur?
What should the discussion on school shootings and guns include?
So, what questions are being asked, and what questions should we be asking? Should we continuously discuss guns, particularly which guns people should have and what age they should be able to get them?
The answer to this is simple, it is yes and no. Undoubtedly there should be an honest discussion on both sides as to what role guns play in these mass tragedies. On the other hand, the issue of guns is an issue that will never meet any sort of compromise.
Due to this, what reason is there to discuss an issue that to many is very minute to the issue, and an issue that will never meet any compromise.
What part of the discussion on school shootings and guns has bipartisan support?
Instead of focusing on guns, we must focus on issues that truly do have bipartisan support, and issues, if resolved, will truly lead to safer schools throughout the country. If not guns, what other issues must we discuss?
Mental Health, pertaining to one’s psychological and emotional well-being. No, the issue of mental health is not to distract from the gun issue, it is possibly the number one issue at hand. As a country, investing in Mental health should be just as easy as investing in our military.
So, what does it mean to invest in mental health?
First off, there must be mental health professionals in every school. Not only in every school but giving classes to students.
Helping students understand why maybe they are depressed or at times just someone to come and talk to about anything, whether it be an issue at home or in school. This is crucial, because often with school shooters we tend to see an element of loneliness or distancing from other people.
Governor Rick Scott is saying that every school in Florida will have a mental health professional on staff, among other steps being taken to harden Florida schools.
The issue of our failing schools.
If we are not properly educating our children, and giving them hope for a better future for themselves, we are collectively failing them. A major reason for our failing schools is teachers’ unions. These unions make it near impossible to fire teachers who are underperforming.
Everything starts at school, what our children see and experience at school will be with them for the rest of their lives. We owe it to them, our children, to experience good, instead of nastiness and laziness on the part of educators.
Additionally, in terms of our schools, we must defend them as if they are airports or federal buildings. Turn them into hard targets. Targets that are less penetrable than they are. Targets that do not allow someone like Cruz to walk in and destroy lives.
President Trump floated a certainly controversial idea, in terms of arming teachers, but aspects of the idea can certainly garner major support. One idea, in particular, was having school “air marshals’”.
These would be individuals throughout the school who have the training to wield a gun. The theory is that if another school shooting would transpire, a trained and armed individual in the building can more quickly neutralize the situation.
Broadening background checks on guns will stop school shootings
Lastly, the issue of background checks must be part of the discussion on guns and school shootings. Local, state and federal agencies must work in unison to prevent people like the shooter in Parkland from ever getting his hands on a gun in the first place.
The government was constructed to protect the people, it is about time they put systems in place to better fulfill this obligation.
A gun, in it of itself, is not inherently bad or good. What makes it bad or good is the people who use them.
Instead of getting into the weeds of banning some guns and not others, lets have an honest discussion on the real issues at hand. Washington, as well as state and local governments, got a wake-up call last week from the brave young men and women who survived the Parkland massacre.
We owe it to them and all that have fallen to have real discussions on guns and school shootings. We must come up with real solutions to fix the problem of hate in America today. Although when discussing government, there is usually not much hope that progress will truly be made, this time feels a little different.
Not only because of our youth but also because we are starting to have discussions on matters of true substance. Not just reverting back to the issues that divide us.